weight loss

The weight gain and loss equation

Do you know the general principle behind weight gain and weight loss? These are the 3 factors that determine your weight

Diet – When we eat our body uses what it needs and stores the rest as glycogen or as fat. When we haven’t eaten for hours it’s this stored portion (glycogen) that sustains us.

The glycogen sustains the body and after longer periods without food the stored fat is then used.

Physical Activity Level

What exercise (or sometimes physical stress) does is to ensure that the food we eat is rapidly consumed. Thus the stored portion in form of glycogen and later fat gets to be used rather than accumulate.

This explains why a good balance of diet and exercise produces a healthy weight.


With genetics things get really dicey. Persons who genetically are prone to have lesser weights can feel weighed down (smiles…no pun intended) when it seems that no matter what they eat they never seem to add any significant weight.

On the other hand, another group of persons eat very little, exercise a lot and still end up putting on weight, this is how powerful a person’s genetic make-up can be.

For ladies among the former group, a desire for greater sex appeal (bigger waist, butt or bursts) can make misuse of a steroid like dexamethasone an attractive prospect.

While the latter group sometimes turn to diuretics to promote weight loss.

Others on the extreme opposite turn to diuretics and a wide variety of “slimming teas” to lose weight and look thinner (the model-like body frame)

Dexamethasone and weight gain

The drug dexamethasone (popular brand name Xasten) is a corticosteroid used widely to promote weight gain even with the harmful effects that accompany it.

When people gain weight normally, they simply add muscle mass (healthy) or fat tissues (not so healthy) and this reflects as an increase in weight.

Dexamethasone use produces an illusion of weight gain. It promotes accumulation of fluid or redistribution of fat in the body and this is a totally unhealthy way to gain weight.

Another effect, reduced immunity is worthy of note because it makes one at greater risk of coming down with  infections.

Diuretics and weight loss

This group of drugs are used mostly for the treatment of high blood pressure, liver disease and some heart conditions.

Diuretics act by preventing the absorption of too much salts so that they are removed in lots of urine.

Furosemide is an example, this feature is capable of being abused by regular healthy persons who simply want to lose weight.

Constant elimination of fluid can give an illusion of weight loss but leaves the individual at risk of lower electrolyte levels which can impact health negatively.

In summary, approaching weight loss or gain from the perspective of the three factors of genetics, diet and exercise remains the most effective and sustainable in the long term.

Any short cut that tries to by-pass this can be potentially harmful.

Olusanya Oluwatomi